Paul’s Pantry, “LOL”

A good days baking, I got up this morning itching to get started on making some Malted brown loaves, having received the malted flour and fresh bakers yeast yesterday. So I used a general bread recipe I.e. :

700g strong plain bread flour, 300g malted brown bread flour, 20g salt, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon oil, 20g fresh yeast and approx 650grams of water.

Basically mix all the above ingredients together, I use a machine to do most of it because my hand hurt with to much kneading, then I turn the dough out onto my work surface and knead a little, then put it back into a lightly greased bowl, cover and leave to prove.

Malted bread dough.
Covered malted bread dough
 
After about one hour of proving I put the dough onto my work surface, divide into three, gently fold each piece in on itself forming a tight ball or long baton trapping air into the folds and then putting each peice into a floured bread basket to prove again, cover and leave approx 1 more hour.

After an hour has passed and the dough has doubled in size, I turn the dough out onto a pre-heated baking tray and score the top of each loaf with a sharp blade, then bake for approx 40-45mins in a hot oven approximately 200c.

First two out
All three now done
 

These turned out beautifully can’t wait to taste them, but what shall we have with it? Well I’ve been fancying a Quiche, so that’s what we will have. Now I watch all these food programs that give all these rules I.e, you must use a certain flour, or you must blind bake the case first etc…. well I worked in catering from boy to man at a high level and if we followed all those rules then half the jobs would never get done. So this is a recipe that has always served me well, I’ve had complements wether it’s served as a luncheon, a bar snack, a buffet or starter, it always goes done well.

The pastry is an alrounder, in other words you can use it for anything, if it’s for a sweet dish then I leave out the salt but add 4 oz of caster sugar, it’s easy and quick to make. So obviously Quiche is savoury so this is our pastry recipe:

1 lb Self Raiseing Flour, 8 oz Butter or Margerine, pinch of salt, and approx 1/3rd of a pint of water. Now put the flour and salt into a bowl rub in the butter/margarine, then gradually add enough water to bring it all together into a ball, you can now refrigerate the pastry whilst you prepare the other ingredients
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Flour, butter & salt.
Fat rubbed in.
Finished pastry dough
 

I’m making one red onion quiche, and two leek & courgette quiches, so my ingredients are 20 oz Chedder cheese, 12 eggs, 1/2pt milk, and for the toppings, 1 red onion, 1 leek, and 1 courgette, also a little oil/butter/margarine just for cooking.
I start by peeling the red onion and cutting it in half and slicing it thinly, I put that to gently cook in a little oil or butter to soften the onions, then remove and cool, then I grate the courgette and wash and prepare the leek before finely chopping it and again cooking in a little oil or butter before leaving to cool. Now grate all the Chedder cheese,  break the eggs into a jug and beat with the milk, then everything is ready to put together.
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The filling ingredients.
Sliced red onion
Onion & leek.
Cooked red onion.
Cooked red onion.
Grated Cheddar Cheese.
 
Now that we have all our ingredients prepared, I divide the pastry into three, I then roll out each peice to line three quiche dishes, one 9 inch one 8 inch and one 7 inch, they are just the dishes I have as my wife accidentally broke my nice glass one, but you could use one big dish or two medium size ones really what ever you have got.
 
dishes I inherited from my parents.
Lined dishes
 

With the dishes now lined, divide the grated cheese between them, top two the leek & courgette and one with the red onion, then season with salt and pepper and then pour on the milk and egg mix dividing it amongst the three dishes. Now put them on a under tray in case of spillage, and place into the oven I cook at 160c for the first 15-20 minutes just to set the quiche then about 25 minutes at 180c, they will be nice and golden when cooked, remove from the oven and enjoy either hot or cold. You can use any toppings and even use different cheeses just experiment.
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Filling in.
Egg & milk on
Cooked ready to eat.
Red onion
A good days baking.
 

Well I hope you’ve enjoyed this insight into my day in the kitchen, I feel inspired to do something else now, “now what can I cook next” lol.

Done it.

 

I made it out yesterday, and I actually walked around B&Q and the Range, we had a good shop and bought several plants for the new raised beds, also bought some paint to decorate the new study now that we have had the French windows put in, so all in all a good day. I was a little stressed out the day before, thinking of going out but as I new the shops it was not to bad. The only thing now is I can hardly move all my joints are hurting, guess it’s the most exercise I’ve done for a long time. Caz has put the plants into the bed, I managed to plant two, and put in some seeds, it all looks great I’m very pleased with what we achieved, thanks to Caz.I have also started a new batch of sourdough bread starter, I’m going to get back to making all our own bread again, it’s much nicer, but I also don’t want to be eating so much bread and so it is part of my plan for changing our lifestyle, by eating less processed foods and making it as fresh as you can, so we shall see how that progresses on.

It’s great now that we have the French windows in, it brings the house and garden much more together, and that’s important to me, being able to just step out into the garden, or sit with the doors open but still feel part of the garden, it’s lovely. We have a deep red rose in the garden, it’s one we brought with us when we moved here I guess it must be over 20 years old, we know it as our Aunty Babs rose as it was bought for us by my much loved and very much now missed aunty Babs. The scent from the rose just fills the garden and will now hopefully also fill the house, it flowers all summer long and is the heart of our garden, a very treasured plant.

I also love photography and would love to be able to get out more and to do more of it, when we first moved here I was able to get about more and took some beautiful shots of this amazing island. I have just sold my Dslr camera because I was not using it, but also because I find it difficult to cope with the weight and all the lenses that go with it, so I bought both myself and Caz a Canon Powershot G5x camera, it’s a lovely little camera and easy to transport, and has wifi which is great for blogging, I still have my older Nikon D7000 and some lenses it’s a great camera too but not so portable for me, walking with a stick and sometimes crutches makes carrying a Dslr difficult. Well I’ll have to post some of my photography soon for you to see hopefully you’ll like them. I feeling less stressed at the moment as we have now decided not to take another trip away this coming weekend, though inside I know we will be soon, but it takes the pressure off for now, I really want to be able to just get up and go away at a drop of the hat, but it’s so difficult and stressful I sometimes wonder is it all worth it. Hope you all have a great day and achieve all you want to……

The Plants that we bought.
Planted up.
From the other side
Aunty Babs Rose

Gooseberries & mind games.

 

Well we picked 3lb of gooseberries yesterday, not a huge amount but enough to make some jam, it’s a job to time picking any fruit in our garden, as I have said before it’s very much a cottage/wildlife garden, and the wildlife seem to get their fair share of the bounty, but that’s the way it should be we all have to live, and at this time of year the are all trying to feed their young, and it’s lovely to be able to see all thous young fledglings in the garden. So my first job today after posting this blog is jam making, and I shall post a photo of the finished produce, have our scones ready lol.

I have been starting to feel stressed today, and I know the feeling will grow completely out of control as the week goes on, I felt at ease when we returned from our long weekend break last weekend, testing out our new eriba caravan we really love it, it’s very retro and comfortable, and having achieve our first get away I was now ok that we were back home, I could relax again and enjoy looking at the photos from the weekend, really like looking at the for the first time as if I had not been there and I was looking at someone else’s adventure, I was now safe at home. Then today the subject arose about going on another trip, and right away I can feel the tension inside, I want to curl up into a ball and hide away, I could shake myself, tell myself how daft I am “I’m 62 in a couple of weeks” why do I have to be like this, why can’t I just be like others? I will try and fill my thoughts with other stuff, but it will just be there all the time, tapping me on the shoulder when I let my guard down, I want to tackle this but honestly I don’t know if I can! I have great support from my family but it’s so difficult to open up and put things into words, especially when your supposed to be the head of your family. It breaks my heart when my we get to the shops and my wife or daughter ask if I am coming into the shops, and I say no, then the little voice of my 4 year old granddaughter says “come on grandad, please!” The mind is so very complicated, but a day a a time that’s all I can do.

On a lighter note I’ll share a story of when I was an apprentice chef, training under my father. It was a very busy kitchen in a seaside three star hotel, I was about 16 at the time and most of us were smokers then, so every now and then we would say “just off to the toilet chef” and my father who was the head chef would say don’t be to long, knowing that we were really just going for a cigarette. My father had a funny side to him and loved a joke, we had all been caught by him, he would wait for us to enter the outside toilet that was in the passage leading to the garage, the toilet had a gape above and under the door, and as soon as he saw a puff of smoke come over the top he would throw a full bucket of ice cold water over the top, you can imagine the shock lol.

So one day we all planed our revenge, and it was not long before we had our chance, my father headed off to the toilet, and we all filled our buckets and marched outside, the light went on so we all let loose our buckets of ice cold water…… the screams and shouts from within were not that of my father, oh no! What had we done? We all ran back into the kitchen where we each kept our heads down and got on with our work, but each one of us kept an eye on the door to see who would come in. To our horror the door opened and a raging head porter in his top hat and tails came in drenched demanding to know who had done this to him, no one uttered a word, there were some muffled sniggers, but when he left to get change my father returned, he could hardly stand up, and there were tears of laughter coming down his face – yes he had set us up really good, he had suspected what we were up to, no one but him had notice the head porter head for the toilets we were to busy watching my dad, he then followed the head porter but instead of going to the toilets had run into the garage where he watched the whole thing unfold, it’s laughable now but we were bricking it at the time.

Just thought that may lighten your day, I post pics of the gooseberry jam later..

Gooseberries

Our Tilly.

 

Today I would like to tell you about our Tilly, she is our little Lancashire heeler and she is gorgeous, very stubborn but a great friend. Now our Tilly believes in democracy, if you tell her to get into her basket and you are in the room with her on your own, then she will obey and get into her basket. However if there is one, two or three more people in the room she will not get into her basket, unless every person asks her to, this is because there might just be one person in the room who might agree with her lol.
When we first got Tilly she was so very small the runt of the litter and when curled up she fitted in the centre of my cupped hands. At the time that she came to us, a ginger tom cat (Tatty) had adopted us, he was a big softy who dribbled and had decided to take up residence in our polly tunnel, when Tilly met him they fell in love and each of them would take their turn every morning to wash and clean the other, then chase each other around the garden, again each one taking the turn of the chaser. Sadly one day Tatty did not come, we later found out that a drunk driver had run him down, it broke all our hearts, but I think mostly Tilly’s.
Tilly loves going on holidays in our eriba caravan, she loves the adventure, we just need to be able to get away more, a goal I need to reach, a phobia I need to defeat. I love it when we manage to get away it’s just the stress before going, panic attacks etc… the fear of leaving the house, sometimes it’s all to much, but we will cover this subject again. I guess poor old Tilly picks up on my feelings and becomes very excitable before leaving, she sometimes drives me up the wall but I would not no what to do if I was to lose her. Any how that’s our Tilly and I’m sure she will pop up now and then as I am blogging.

 

Tilly about one year old.
Tilly & Me holding hands